Wout Van Aert sur Christophe Laporte : "Je lui répète souvent qu'il est fort, mais il ne veut pas me croire"

Wout Van Aert sur Christophe Laporte : “Je lui répète souvent qu’il est fort, mais il ne veut pas me croire”

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That’s a good thing done. No one will talk to French riders about the absence of a tricolor victory on this Tour. They can all thank Christophe Laporte. And his team. The Jumbo Visma is so strong that the French success could probably only come from there. For the person concerned, the essential is not there. “It is also important not to leave the homeland empty-handed, but even if there had already been French victories, I would have been very happy to win too, smiles the hero of the day. If it was able to please many viewers in front of their screens, it’s even better.”

Being part of such a steamroller is both an advantage and a limit. Not easy to exist alongside Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and perhaps even more so in his case, Wout van Aert. “We must not forget also that all the riders of this team are world top“, recalls the Varois. But in Cahors, it was his moment. Even if everything was not written in the morning. “The briefing was clear, says the Frenchman. The priority was to worry about Jonas (Vingegaard) until the last three kilometers, it could be a very nervous day. If Jonas was safe, we could do the sprint.”

Laporte: “Wout said to me: ‘It’s for you today’, it brought me luck”

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If I had to work for Wout today, that was fine with me too

This sprint was his. “100 kilometers from the finishsays Laporte, Wout told me he didn’t feel strong enough to sprint, and it was up to me. It was Wout who took care of everything to protect Jonas until the three kilometers. The last time he told me it was up to me was at Paris-Nice where I won. 3 km from the finish, I heard in the headset that I had carte blanche.”

It therefore remained for him not to let his chance pass. Given his status at Jumbo, they are relatively rare. But Laporte did everything right on Friday. “There was a small chicane on which a small break was made, I took the opportunity to do the jump with the three riders in frontpicks up the Frenchman. Then I sped to the 500 yards, turned around, and had punched a hole in them. I crashed a bit at the end, but it was still enough, I was even able to savor the last 200 meters and the crossing of the line.”

Often placed, rarely winning, Christophe Laporte obviously wants the biggest victory of his career. “It’s huge for me, winning a stage in the Tour de France is every rider’s dream, he said again. It’s just happiness, I’m really very happy. It’s a childhood dream. Everyone dreams of it and I did it.” For the luxury team member that he is at Jumbo, it’s a form of fair reward, even if he claims to have no frustration in this role: “I didn’t come with this objective, I was already very happy with everything I was able to do for the team on this Tour. And if I had to work for Wout today, that was fine with me too. I thought maybe I’d get a chance in week three, and she showed up..”

Deloeil: “An arrival for him”

His victory makes a lot of people happy. “He deserves this victory and he did it as a finisher. I’m happy for him, he’s a great runner“, breathes Florian Sénéchal (Quick Step). “I’m happy for him because he’s French and I rode with him at Cofidis“, adds Hugo Hofstetter. Within his former team (he spent eight seasons with Cofidis before signing with Jumbo-Visma last winter), we are indeed happy for him. Happy, but no more surprised than that.

Alain Deloeil is one of the sports directors of the northern team and he was Christophe Laporte’s referent at Cofidis. “We know Christophe, we kind of trained himhe recalled at the microphone of Eurosport after the arrival. For me, he is a very, very talented person. I am not at all surprised by his victory, especially on this type of finish. It was an arrival that suited him perfectly well. He clicked, it’s good for him. I am really happy. I think he had carte blanche today precisely because it was a finish that suited him well. He probably raised his hand to say ‘I’m coming in’. They gave him full latitude to do this sprint.”

Deloeil: “Christophe is a very talented person, I’m not surprised by his victory”

With all he has done for me, especially in the spring, it means a lot to see him win too

At Jumbo Visma too, we are happy for Christophe Laporte. Starting with Jonas Vingegaard. “I am very happy that we were able to make Christophe win, he deserves it so muchjudge the yellow jersey. He’s been there for three weeks, the fact that he can have his stage also shows what kind of team we are.” But no one experiences more satisfaction than Wout van Aert: “We can’t talk about rewards because cycling doesn’t work like that. But with all he has done for me, especially in the spring, it means a lot to see him win too..”

But beyond the notions of merit, reward or fair return, for the Flemish, it is above all a matter of competence. Listening to the green jersey, Christophe Laporte is a bigger runner than he wants to admit. “He showed the world how strong he is. I often tell him that he is strong, but he does not want to believe me, smiles the green jersey. I’ve known him for years, long before we were teammates. I raced with him a lot this year, first I saw that he was strong on the flat and to take the sprints, but he is also very good in the mountains, especially on the small climbs.

This victory, this Tour, and more generally what he experiences at Jumbo Visma, will all this be likely to encourage a form of awareness in Laporte’s head? For Alain Deloeil, it is in any case to explore this kind of country and know where its limits are that he has taken the plunge: “We knew he had the qualities to win the World Tour. This year, being in the best team in the world, it is certain that it had to happen. He left us because he wanted to see something else. He said to himself ‘for two years, I will do the job thoroughly and then I will see what it will give’. The result is there. But there are no surprises. It’s still a big engine, so I’m not surprised.”

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